Page 1018 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 21 April 2021

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Let me put it clearly on the record. Some of the community needs for the facility are as follows. It should be self-catering. The venue should be prioritised for large ethnic and religious celebrations. Any booking system needs somehow to ensure that it is not full of bookings for other events and groups to the point where it is not available for big cultural events like Holi, Ramadan, Diwali, Navaratri—which, incidentally, goes for nine nights in a row—and so on. The venue must be able to cater to groups who want to have alcohol at their events, and not in a cost-prohibitive or profiteering way. In the same way, some events will be completely alcohol free, based on some groups’ religious views and commitments. If the serving of alcohol appropriately, and in a non-profiteering way, is not achieved, some people will, as has been known to occur in Canberra already, drink outside the venue in the car park. This not helpful. Therefore, it should be integrated as part of the events, with responsible service of alcohol principles applied. The venue needs to be able to cater to very large crowds. I am pleased to see that when it was announced, it clearly was intended to.

These are the matters that the minister needs to be across. I will be asking her about it on every opportunity until the venue opens. I hope it will be a great success. It will certainly enhance the life of our city if it is and make those communities feel valued and accepted. I look forward to dancing all night at these events—maybe even singing a song or two along with some others, as is the custom at some of these events that I have been involved in.

I hope that the minister will now read her party’s election commitments in detail and ensure that Major Projects Canberra delivers what was promised in a way that achieves these promised outcomes. I am amazed that I have to explain this to the minister, but here we are.

Regarding the multicultural recognition act, we can only hope that the minister’s consultations with the multicultural community show her how important this facility and its delivery are, to make Canberra the best place for those originating from another country.

I also want to make note of the Multicultural Festival. This year the festival had to be cancelled. This was discussed in estimates in some detail. I look forward to the 2022 event. I hope it will be stronger. I hope there will be plenty of opportunity for community groups to make their needed income from the event so that the festival can be stronger than previous multicultural festivals and we can all enjoy the spectacle that it is. I look forward to hearing more about the plans for next year’s festival. The festival has become a key part of the landscape in the ACT.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (6.05): Madam Speaker, I have a few things to cover this evening and I would like to start with the technology upgrade fund. I am pleased to advise that the government’s commitment to assist our community to upgrade its IT capacities and capability, with $1.4 million invested over four years, has commenced implementation. A total of $350,000 per year is allocated to a new grant program, with applications for the first year opening on 9 April and closing on 30 April. The

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